Location: 550 N. Murphy Road in Murphy, behind Plano Sports Authority. Park in the PSA lot for walk-in access to the playground.
What makes it noteworthy: Murphy Central Park is expansive and beautifully landscaped, with a small blue-and-gray playground designed for ages 5–12. In addition to two slides, the futuristic structure boasts a climbing wall, a half-circle climbing net and funky poles that spin. (No swings, unfortunately.) Bookmark this playground for summer — the play area is completely shaded, and the spray ground next door will be turned on in May.
Extras: Though the playground is small, it’s only part of what makes this park appealing. Go on a mild day to enjoy the open-air picnic area (with recycling bins for eco-conscious eaters), and bring your rod and reel to fish the 2-acre stocked pond. The park also has a paved walking trail, sports fields and restrooms. Check the city calendar for Moonlight Movies and other events hosted at the amphitheater and newly added food truck park.
Safety: The playground received an A* on the Playground Safety Report Card, but be cautious with children younger than 5.